Miscellaneous Genera II
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Avitta Walker

Type species: subsignans Walker, India.

Synonym: Oroba Walker (type species surrigens Walker, Borneo).

This genus in the strict sense presented here was reviewed by Holloway (1984b), with a phylogenetic analysis, though
A. alternans Warren (New Guinea), probably a true Avitta, was omitted. Species previously associated with Avitta (e.g. in Poole, 1989) are treated under the next three genera or transferred to “Anomis” (see p. 224). A New Caledonian species is transferred to Chrysopera Hampson (p. 198). African taxa have not been studied in detail, though A. lineosa Saalmüller combines valves like Avitta with a scaphium in the male genitalia, and has the eighth sternite with an anterior corema and a straight distal margin.

All species in these four genera have a similar build and facies, but their genitalia features are so different as to merit separation.

The male antennae are sparsely ciliate to weakly fasciculate in this and the next genus, and the femora of this sex can be tufted with scales in
Avitta, and the Australasian clade of species has a massively tufted foretibia. The labial palps are of the typical catocaline form. In Avitta, the forewing reniform is relatively large and open-centred, forming a letter ‘B’ in some species. The rest of the forewing has a series of fine, irregular, darker fasciae. The hindwings are uniform above, but may have pale borders of varying width. There is a discal spot on the hindwing underside, and the stigmata of the forewing may also be prominent. In the male abdomen, the eighth sternite is distally bidentate. The eighth tergite has short, robust, well separated apodemes. The genitalia have the uncus moderate, apically hooked, but the scaphium is absent or weak. The tegumen is slightly longer than the vinculum. The valves are tongue-like distally and have a massive, free process at the base of the costa. There may be additional processes from the interior of the sacculus. The juxta is broad and may be spined distally. In some species it has some semblance to an inverted ‘V’ . The aedeagus vesica is simple to bilobed, unornamented.

The female genitalia have the ostium within the anterior of a complex modification of the eighth segment that is mostly a postvaginal plate, but with finely scobinate areas associated with it (often including two lobes flanking, and posterior to the ostium), including a patch between the ovipositor lobes. The ductus is usually relatively short and flimsy, and the corpus bursae is set asymmetrically on it and is elongate, narrow, with some fine scobination where it joins the ductus. The ductus seminalis arises from the base of the ductus bursae close to the ostium.

Bell (MS) reared the type species in India, comparing the larva to that of
Hyperlopha cristifera (see p. 211) in shape. It is elongate, with the prolegs on A3 reduced, but those on A4 only slightly smaller than those to the rear. The head is black, with the brownish white lines of the body continuing on to it. The body is brownish white with a treble olive-green dorsal band, and a series of similar bands down each side. The ventral surface is not banded, but a similar colour.

The larva frequents the undersides of leaves and eats the tender ones; it can rest also on twigs and stalks. It pupates on the ground in a silken cell that incorporates detritus. The pupa does not have a bloom.

The host plants are in the Menispermaceae:
Cyclea and Stephania. This family is also recorded for fasciosa Moore below.

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